The vehicle of choice for the team at O’Neill Wetsuits is the Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport Dualiner.
O’Neill Wetsuits operates from European headquarters in Midhurst, near Chichester, West Sussex, and enjoys a long-standing relationship with south coast Dealer Pentagon Commercials.
It runs nine Vito models, all of which were recently given the same new livery. They include the company’s latest three Vito Sport 116 CDI Dualiners – two Compacts and a Long-bodied variant.
“We’re the market leader in our own field, and the same is true of Mercedes-Benz,” said product manager Joe Turnbull.
“With all it says about quality, style and safety, the three-pointed star complements our own brand image in a way that no other van manufacturer’s badge could do.”
The new arrivals are powered by 163hp engines and ride on 17-inch, six-spoke alloy wheels, while chrome sidebars further enhance their appearance.
As Dualiner models they have second rows of seats too, so each can carry up to five people in comfort and safety.
Also included on the fleet is a single Brabus-styled Vito Sport-X, which features a 224hp V6 and is driven by O’Neill Wetsuits’ European sales manager Dee Caldwell.
Other vehicles are assigned to the company’s sales representatives, marketeers, dive range and team managers, and to Turnbull himself.
“The Vito Sport looks great and is very comfortable and well equipped,” he says. “It’s also a lot of fun to drive, more like a high-end car than a van.
“We’re not delivery drivers but sometimes carry samples, shop fixtures and the like, as well as colleagues when we attend events.
“Most of the time, however, these vehicles are chock-full of our own sports equipment. You have to be an enthusiast to work in this business – that’s why my Vito is always fully loaded with kite surfing and bike gear.”
The Vito fleet is maintained by factory-trained technicians at Pentagon’s Fareham headquarters, who fit only Mercedes-Benz GenuineParts.
O’Neill Wetsuits takes out Mercedes-Benz Service Package contracts under which all routine maintenance costs are covered by a monthly payment.
“We’ve been relying on Pentagon to supply and service our vehicles for some 12 years now and the dealer provides a brilliant service,” adds Turnbull.
“That’s particularly true of van sales executive James Walters – he’s a kite surfer like me, and really understands our business and requirements.
“Factor in the Vito’s economy, reliability, long service intervals and three-year, unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty, and you have a vehicle that appeals as much to the head as it does to the heart – it’s an unbeatable combination.”